Toyota may lose 500,000 vehicles image

The destructive Japanese earthquake has hit the auto industry hard, mostly because a large number of parts and components are unavailable.

“The issue of potential supply shortage is a top global priority,” Morgan Stanley said in a recent report. “Even a missing $5 part can stop an assembly line.”

Toyota Motor Co., the world’s biggest automaker may delay the production of at least 500,000 vehicles in Japan because of this situation.

While the automaker restarted production of the Prius and other hybrids in Japan on a limited basis this week, most of its factories remain closed or are making only parts. The plant that makes the Toyota Yaris, a subcompact sold in the United States, is expected to be down at least until late April, Automotive News reported.

Moreover, from March 14 to March 26 Toyota has said the company lost 140,000 units of production.

In the U.S. some Toyota showrooms don’t have any more models of its hybrid, the Prius, left in stock. The Japanese automaker will not be able to restock its supply until full production of the vehicles can resume in Japan.

Toyota Motor Company (NYSE:TM) shares were at 80.96 at the end of the last day’s trading. There’s been a 1.9% change in the stock price over the past 3 months.